RECAP Central Section Standouts succeed in multiple ways

Clovis North senior sprinter Nickolas Miller (center) crosses the finish line to win a CIF Central Section Masters Meet individual race and advance to this week's State Meet.

CLOVIS -- The CIF Central Section Masters Meet delivered on multiple fronts Saturday for athletes seeking to extend their seasons and punch their ticket to next week's CIF State Championship Meet.

Needing to finish among the top three places or secure a set CIF State Meet time/mark standard, top Central Section competitors shined bright in the Masters Meet at Buchanan High's Veteran Memorial Stadium.

Reigning State champions Nailea Fields of Caruthers in the discus, Clovis' Sydnie Vanek in the long jump and the Clovis North 4x400 girls relay will each have the chance to defend their titles as a result of winning their respective Master Meet events. 

Fields, a senior, uncorked a state-leading and PR throw of 167-8 in the discus Saturday. Vanek, also a senior, won the Masters long jump in 19-11.25. The Clovis North 4x400 girls relay, featuring some of the runners whose team won the State title last year, won in 3:53.25.

Hilton Green, a senior pole vaulter for Buchanan and who reached the same height as the 2022 State winner, but was second based on a tiebreaker, won his Masters Meet event with a 16-1 on Saturday. Green is the current State leader in the pole vault with a 17-1 he achieved at the recent Central Section Division I Final meet.

Buchanan's boys and girls 4x800 relays, respective owners of the state's top time this season, each raced to wins for the inaugural running of it as a CIF postseason event. Only the top two CS teams in this particular relay advance to State. The Bears teams won in 7:51.70 and 9:16.75. They were joined by the Clovis boys (7:52.74) and Clovis North girls (9:33.06) as the respective runners-up.

Victories in a few events resulted in new Central Section-leading times and marks. Jazper Malone, a senior from El Diamante, ran the 300 hurdles in 39.27. Sophomore discus thrower McKay Madsen from Clovis North threw a 191-3 and Shane Carr of Bakersfield South won the triple jump in 48-8.75. 

Numerous athletes won two events. The Central Section's leading sprinter, Clovis North senior Nickolas Miller, won the 100 and 200 in 10.40 and 21.06, respectively. Santa Maria Righetti junior Riley Allen won the girls 100 and 200 (11.92 and 24.88). Bakersfield Liberty junior hurdler Bella Turner won the girls 100 and 300 hurdles (14.31 and 43.67). Buchanan senior distance runner Grace Hutchison captured the 1600 and 3200 (4:51.83 and 10:37.85), and Fields added a shot put win (40-0.75) to go with her triumph in the discus.

Athletes who did not win two individual events, but did qualify for State in at least two includes Clovis junior Jacob Saldate in the 100 (10.63, third) and 200 (21.55, third), Bakersfield Stockdale's Vincent Carnegie in the 110 hurdles (14.94, third) and 300 hurdles (39.30, second), Bullard's Kyle Hughes in the 110 hurdles (14.58, first) and triple jump (47-8.50, second), Clovis North's Madsen in the aforementioned discus and shot put (55-3.75, second), Bakersfield South's Carr in the long jump (23-0, third) to go with his triple jump win.

In relays, Clovis boys advanced three runners-up in the 4x100 (42.03), 4x400 (3:20.15) and 4x800. The Clovis North girls will run in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays. Buchanan's boys and girls will run in both the 4x100 and 4x800 as the boys 4x100 was third in 42.06 and the girls' 4x100 was third in 48.29. Bakersfield Liberty's boys won the 4x100 in 41.91 and were third in 3:22.88. Bakersfield Frontier's girls were runners-up in both the 4x100 (48.13) and 4x400 (3:54.60). The Central boys won the 4x400 (3:19.49) and Central's girls won the 4x100 (47.79).

Buchanan's girls 4x800 relay team won its CIF Central Section Masters race Saturday to advance to State in the inaugural year for the event in CIF postseason.

Winners of Masters Meet individual boys events are Lemoore junior Ethan Avalos in the 400 (48.65), senior Noah Ray of Buchanan in the 800 (1:52.54), Teg Pandher, Clovis North junior, in the 1600 (4:15.29), Junior Carter Spradling of Clovis East in the 3200 (9:04.97), Fresno senior Jermaine Schexnayder in the high jump (6-5), Liberty senior Christian Edwards in the long jump (24-5.25) and Jose Soto, a Tulare Western senior, won the shot put in 55-10. 

Female Masters Meet event winners and State qualifiers are Emerson Parks, a Clovis North sophomore, in the 400 (57.04), Clovis West freshman Cameron Macias in the 800 (2:15.38), Righetti junior Kendra Daniels in the high jump (5-6), senior Alyssa Murillo of Clovis East in the triple jump (38-0.5) and senior Buchanan pole vaulter Jordan Leveque with a 13-4.